63% agree that religion does more harm than good

question long standing social assumptions

This is the first of 5 thoughts addressing social trends in Australia. To avoid repetition, I have avoided trends associated with social media, content marketing, and digital marketing to focus on interesting trends that many may not be aware of.

An Australian survey in 2018 found that 63% of adult Australians agree that religion does more harm than good.

Even taking into account the difference between religion and a belief in God, and the impact of the recent Royal Commission into sexual abuse, this finding is interesting – particularly given how often we hear politicians and others describe Australia as a ‘Christian country’.

Interestingly, the 2016 census found that 52.1% of Australians ‘identify’ as Christian. This would suggest that while Australia is not ‘Christian country’ it is more Christian than anything else – at least in terms of ‘identification’. Saying one identifies with Christianity does not mean of course that one lives by Christian values, attends church, or believes in God. ‘Christian’ might be, and very often is, a ‘cultural’ identification.

The results in the recent referendum, where 68% of people voted in favour of same sex marriage, something the Catholic Church (representing 22% of Australians) and many other churches rallied against, suggest that the Church has less influence in 2018 than it once did.

Less than 15% of Australians attend any place of worship, for any faith, once a month or more. This highlights the relatively low level of connection with religion in Australia.

The identification with religion is lowest among millennials. In fact, some surveys show that more than 80% of millennials do not identify with any religion. This leads many futurists to predict that faith will largely end with the death of today’s adult generations.

Despite this, many Australians and, indeed, many marketers still consider Australia a ‘Christian country’. This is perhaps just one of the many myths that are accepted without question and without reference to the data and trends.

In 2018, question long standing social assumptions

In the interests of transparency, I think the concept of God is bizarre, and I see no value whatsoever in religion.

Every year – put the facts ahead of intuition and guesswork.

Core sources of statistics – n-insights, ABS, Integrate, M, We Are Social, Eventbright, McCrindle, AR Pos, HBR, and Deloitte,

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